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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 26, 2006 / 26 Teves, 5766

Deconstructing bin Laden

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We don't know whether the latest and much-discussed Osama bin Laden tape was recorded recently. But the harangue is still a valuable reflection of the current al-Qaida hierarchy that broadcast it to the world.


First, things must be going very badly for the terrorists to propose a ceasefire: "We don't mind offering you a long-term truce."


In truth, the winning side does not ask for a reprieve. Losing autocrats — whether the officers of the German army in the summer of 1918 or Hitler's cadre in the spring of 1945 — always "don't mind" sending out peace feelers in the 11th hour to salvage their power before they lose it for good.


That is not to say there won't be more sacrifices to come. The battles of the Bulge and Okinawa were the most costly for Americans of World War II, and ended just months before the Nazi and Japanese capitulations.


But examine al-Qaida's plight. Bin Laden's home base in Afghanistan is lost for good. Elites of his terrorist organization are targeted from the air even in the supposedly safe Pakistani borderlands. Plenty of al-Qaida terrorists have been killed in Iraq. Europe is suddenly galvanizing against Islamic fascism. (France even mentions the unmentionable of targeting terrorist patrons with nuclear weapons.) India has no tolerance for Islamic extremism. The terrorist sponsors of Iran and Syria are finally becoming international pariahs. And thousands of Muslims have demonstrated in Lebanon and Jordan against terrorist bombers.


Because bin Laden has failed to repeat 9/11, he oddly feels he must explain to his American targets why he has been unable to kill them. In a "Wizard of Oz" pay-no attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain moment, he offers us this: "The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures."


Second, al-Qaida's talking points seem to derive from American anti-war rhetoric, as bin Laden and Co. desperately cling to the notion that our resolve may yet crumble. Whether domestic critiques of the Bush administration's anti-terror policies are heartfelt or gratuitous, accurate or fabricated, an encouraged bin Laden doesn't care: He simply regurgitates these arguments as his own to throw back against us. Either bin Laden can't come up with any more grievances himself, or he figures that Americans are better at making his case for him.


So if American opponents of the present effort (whom bin Laden calls "the sensible people") adduce polls showing increasing anti-war sentiment, then Bin Laden is likewise encouraged by "polls calling for withdrawing the troops." Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., alleges that "Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management." To bin Laden, there similarly "is no difference" between Saddam's jail and ours. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., derides Guantanamo as an American Stalinist or Hitlerian scandal. So Bin Laden rages about Guantanamo.


Bin Laden now derides in derogatory terms the "quartet of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz." How often did critics in the United States demonize these four administration leaders? And remember the media storm that followed the president's ostentatious landing on an American carrier at the end of the three-week war? The cave-dwelling bin Laden comments about "that fake, ridiculous show aboard the aircraft carrier."


Western journalists have written dozens of books comparing the United States to a rogue state that should apologize for its crimes. Bin Laden quotes them chapter and verse: "It would be useful for you to read the book 'Rogue State.'" That is William Blum's anti-American screed that has soared in the Amazon.com ratings on bin Laden's recommendation.


Some anti-war Americans argue that Halliburton profiteering is the real reason for the war on terror. So bin Laden damns the "merchants of war in America who have supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars."


And, despite three successful elections in Iraq, critics here alleged that the U.S. administration had no "plan" — a charge now parroted by bin Laden: "Bush does not have a plan to make his alleged victory in Iraq come true."


Third, bin Laden conveniently distorts history to achieve victim status. Again, he relies on many Americans' penchant for blaming themselves first.


Thus, according to bin Laden's logic, al-Qaida's unprovoked mass murder of Sept. 11 was righteous "vengeance."


Although the Taliban wrecked Afghanistan — which is now being rebuilt through Western aid — in bin Laden's self-pitying universe his own plan during a truce would be to "build Iraq and Afghanistan."


Desert oil is extracted at $5 a barrel and sold by Middle East regimes at near $70. Even so, to bin Laden, Americans have "stolen our money."


Bin Laden ends his maudlin nonsense by telling us Americans that "there is a lesson for you."


In fact, there are three lessons: Al-Qaida terrorists are losing. Their only hope is to mimic critics in the United States for ideas about derailing American military and diplomatic efforts that are destroying them. And as they go down, they play the victim in desperate search of pity and thus reprieve.


For most Americans — nice try, but still no cigar.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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